How To Argue With a Mate
Introduction to a 4 Part Series
By Dr. Lovegood
Disagreements and even fights are a virtually inevitable part of all romantic
relationships. Sometimes during the initial flush of love, couples don't fight and
practically don't even disagree. This can't last. Even if two people are the same
personality type, they see things differently.
A good part of a relationship operates kind of like our eyes. Each eye can work
independently, but eyes work better when they work together. When the eyes do work
together, a person has depth perception and a much wider field of vision. Just like
our eyes, our relationships can work synergistically with the two people working together
better than the sum of each working alone.
In order for a relationship to work synergistically, the people have to learn how to
handle differences in perspective. Like the old fable about the blind men describing an
elephant, couples often see the same thing very differently. Combining the perspectives
gains them depth perception and a wider view.
Sublimating one person's view in favor of the other's is necessary at times, but not
ideal. Only when couples can find a shared view does synergy take over.
Temperament can go a long way towards explaining the differences in perspective and
what each person has to offer the relationship. Instead of trying to remake the other into
a cheap imitation of ourselves, we are trying to learn how to appreciate and even nurture
the things which make us different. Even when we truly believe the other person is dead wrong,
it is important to find the grain of truth which is motivating the person.
Idealists are generally the best at entering into another person's reality, at least
in part. They tend to have problems in two basic areas, that of failing to stay true to
themselves and demonizing the other person because of a values conflict. Rationals often
can't see why they should care about another's reality except on a theoretical level.
When they do care, they tend to feel very inadequate, an especially unpleasant feeling
for Rationals. Guardians can have a hard time understanding that people really do see
things differently. Once they can get to the point of seeing that the differences are
good, most of them appreciate being taught. Artisans have no problem understanding that
there are differing perspectives. They are often able to use and even exploit these
differences. However, most Artisans have only a limited ability to truly enter fully
into another's perspective.
An important point to remember is that winning an argument often has little to
do with the words spoken but a lot to do with nonverbal communication. Everyone wants
to be loved and respected. If you are arguing with your mate and you hate or despise them,
it is unlikely that they will be able to hear any words you say. The only thing they will
get is that you can't stand them, which isn't conducive to a good relationship. Make sure
that the words you choose to use in your arguments and your nonverbal communication affirm
the relationship and affirm their value to you along with your respect for their abilities.
Following this series we will be looking at combinations of perspectives and rules for
fair fighting with a lover of each temperament.